Graduates of vocational high schools account for the largest group of trade professionals in the construction and remodeling industry. The various concentrations provide prospective graduates with the skills, knowledge and education they need to succeed in the industry. After graduation former students are prepared to hold several different jobs in the industrial, commercial and residential areas; some work as independent contractors for various clients and projects, while others may be hired by firms on an ongoing basis.
The issue exists that although these types of vocational schools are producing valuable assets to the community they seem to promote construction and operation of only new buildings and demolition of historic buildings and sites. This accounts for 48% the United States' greenhouse gas emissions. Reusing and retrofitting our existing buildings can reduce these emissions dramatically while enhancing the community. In fact, our existing buildings are one of our greatest renewable resources and are responsible for a large number of trade related jobs. The graduates, although skilled in their individual trades retain very little knowledge of the concept and practices of Historic Preservation.
Within our communities, individuals that retain the basic knowledge of Historic Preservation practices play a critical role in creating a unique sense of place that adds value to our cities, towns and countryside. Students may develop skills, both vocational and academic, that will give them the strategic labor market advantages needed to compete for good jobs. The importance of recognizing historic resources also guides us as we move forward into the future, for without them we have no measure by which to gauge our progress. Remember, historic preservation is not only economical, sustainable and a good practice...its law!
Houghton, Duane D., "A New Focus for the Future: Historic Preservation Practices and Vocational High School Curriculum, a Massachusetts Concentration" (2014). Historic Preservation Theses. 7.